The potential preventability of serious helicobacter-associated diseases - especially gastric cancer - has evoked interest in eradicating this pathogen from the population. We assessed the efficacy of the pioneering screen and treat intervention project in Vammala by studying helicobacter seroprevalence in pregnant women representing the normal population. Consecutive maternity clinic samples from native Finnish females at five different localities in 1995 (n=701) and 2000 (n=772) were investigated for class IgG H. pylori antibodies by enzyme immunoassay (Pyloriset EIA-G III, Orion Diagnostica, Espoo, Finland). In Vammala the change in helicobacter seroprevalence was -13%-units (between 1995 and 2000; p=0.0125, chi-square test) in > or =29-year-old females, +1.6%-units (difference statistically non-significant) in
Chlamydia pneumoniae respiratory tract infections were studied in 512 male military conscripts (123 asthmatic and 389 non-asthmatic) taking part in 180-day service between July 2004 and July 2005 in Kajaani, Finland. Respiratory tract infections requiring a medical consultation were analysed prospectively. At baseline, at end of service, and during each episode of respiratory infection, blood samples were obtained for measurement of C. pneumoniae antibodies. Data concerning the clinical features of each infection episode were collected. Serological evidence of acute C. pneumoniae infection was found in 34 of the 512 conscripts with antibody data available, including 9.8% of the asthmatic subjects and 5.7% of the non-asthmatic subjects (p 0.111). A serological diagnosis could be made for 25 clinical episodes in 24 conscripts. The spectrum of respiratory tract infections included 13 episodes of mild upper respiratory tract infection and seven episodes of sinusitis, with five episodes involving asthma exacerbation. Two of three pneumonias were primary infections. Primary infections were diagnosed in five subjects, and re-infection/reactivation in 19 subjects, with the latter comprising 12 non-asthmatic subjects and seven asthmatic subjects (p 0.180). Prolonged infections were present in six asthmatic subjects and one non-asthmatic subject (p 0.001). A wide variety of respiratory tract infections, ranging from common cold to pneumonia, were associated with serologically confirmed C. pneumoniae infections. Infections were often mild, with common cold and sinusitis being the most common manifestations. Acute, rapidly resolved C. pneumoniae infections were equally common among asthmatic subjects and non-asthmatic subjects, whereas prolonged infections were more common among subjects with asthma.
Domestic Q fever is rare in the Nordic countries; the infection is acquired abroad in the majority of cases. This is the first Nordic report of a fatal case of Q fever, which occurred in an Icelandic cancer patient who had travelled to the Canary Islands.
An acute tick-borne rickettsiosis caused by Rickettsia heilongjiangensis was diagnosed in 13 patients from the Russian Far East in 2002. We amplified and sequenced four portions of three rickettsial genes from the patients' skin biopsy results and blood samples and showed that the amplified rickettsial genes belong to R. heilongjiangensis, which was recently isolated from Dermacentor sylvarum ticks in nearby regions of China. This rickettsia, belonging to subgroup of R. japonica, was previously suggested to be pathogenic for humans on the basis of serologic findings. We tested serum samples with different rickettsial antigens from 11 patients and confirmed increasing titers of immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgM to spotted fever group rickettsiae, including R. heilongjiangensis. Clinical and epidemiologic data on these patients show that this disease is similar to other tick-borne rickettsioses.
Epidemiological data have indicated that some infections are associated with a low risk of allergic diseases, thus supporting the idea (hygiene hypothesis) that the microbial load is an important environmental factor conferring protection against the development of allergies. We set out to test the hygiene hypothesis in a unique epidemiological setting in two socio-economically and culturally markedly different, although genetically related, populations living in geographically adjacent areas. The study cohorts included 266 schoolchildren from the Karelian Republic in Russia and 266 schoolchildren from Finland. The levels of total IgE and allergen-specific IgE for birch, cat and egg albumen were measured. Microbial antibodies were analysed against enteroviruses (coxsackievirus B4), hepatitis A virus, Helicobacter pylori and Toxoplasma gondii. Although total IgE level was higher in Russian Karelian children compared to their Finnish peers, the prevalence of allergen-specific IgE was lower among Russian Karelian children. The prevalence of microbial antibodies was, in turn, significantly more frequent in the Karelian children, reflecting the conspicuous difference in socio-economic background factors. Microbial infections were associated with lower risk of allergic sensitization in Russian Karelian children, enterovirus showing the strongest protective effect in a multivariate model. The present findings support the idea that exposure to certain infections, particularly in childhood, may protect from the development of atopy. Enterovirus infections represent a new candidate to the list of markers of such a protective environment. However, possible causal relationship needs to be confirmed in further studies.
Study of prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in one organized children community of St. Petersburg in the current period.
390 children and adolescents of one of the general education schools of St. Petersburg were examined. Presence in blood sera of IgG to bacterial antigen of H. pylori and IgG to its CagA toxin by ELISA method was studied. In 222 children feces samples were studied. Determination of presence of H. pylori antigen in the feces was carried out by using Helicobacter pylori antigen ELISA Kit, Immundiagnostik test system.
Comparison of H. pylori infection prevalence in children of various age revealed that infection is minimal in children aged 7 - 8 years (36.84%) and reaches maximum levels in students aged 14 years (66.67%). Screening result shows that there are 2 waves of H. pylori infection (the first peak was detected in 11 years, the second - in 14 years). Excess weight in H. pylori positive students is present less frequently (19.89% versus 30.13%). The difference is more notable in boys (20.25% and 38.75% respectively).
A sufficiently high level of infectivity by H. pylori in the students of this school was detected. It was established, that seropositivity increases with student age and reaches maximum levels in upperclassmen. 2 waves of H. pylori infection curve are noticed. It was detected that excess weight occurs more frequently in children not infected by helicobater (p